NEWS
Governor McDonnell Presents the 200,000th US Rider Alert Card to its UK Originator

London, England (July 7, 2012) - Governor Bob McDonnell today presented the 200,000th Rider Alert card to Ian Burrell, Paramedic and General Secretary of the UK Ambulance Motorcycle Club, as a token of partnership between the two countries and their shared vision of motorcycle safety. Rider Alert is a motorcycle safety program where a medical information card is placed inside the rider’s helmet for use by EMS and public safety agencies in the event of an accident. The presentation was made during a meeting with public safety staff from the United Kingdom involved with the production and promotion of the CRASH card. During the meeting, Governor McDonnell formally recognized the UK/Virginia link and thank them for their partnership in bringing a sharp transatlantic focus to motorcycle safety.

The Rider Alert program began as a concept of the UK Ambulance Motorcycle Club and is called CRASH card in the United Kingdom. In April 2011, the program was introduced in Virginia and rebranded as Rider Alert; in the intervening 15 months, through sponsorship, 200,000 Rider Alert cards have been produced and are finding their way into rider’s helmets initially across Virginia and now spreading into other states including New York, Texas, Arizona and Kentucky.

“The Rider Alert card is a valuable service to help provide critical medical information to pre-hospital providers and hospital staff in the event of an accident,” said Governor McDonnell. “This is a partnership that has seen enormous success both in the United Kingdom and in Virginia. I commend co-director Rob Lawrence and the Rider Alert program in Virginia for their great public service. Because of the popularity of Rider Alert, today we presented the 200,000th card to Ian Burrell of the UK Motorcycle Clubs, and recognized the vision behind a program that started in the United Kingdom and has made its way to Virginia and is now spreading across the United States.”

Ian Burrell from the UK Motorcycle Clubs said, “On behalf of the Ambulance Motorcycle Club, Emergency Services, Charities, road safety teams and commercial sponsors involved in the UK CRASH Card program. It is a great personal honor to accept this commemoration of the 200,000th Rider Alert Card from Governor McDonnell.”

Burrell continued, “In the three years since the CRASH Card program started in the UK over 416,000 have been produced and indeed many found in the safety helmets of motorcyclists. What started as a small local initiative in the South of England has, through partners like, the Richmond Ambulance Authority, Motorcycle Virginia and Bon Secours health system Virginia become accepted as best practice on both sides of the Atlantic. We continue to be humbled by the achievements of the Rider Alert team in Virginia and congratulate them on delivering this important safety message to nearly a quarter of a million motorcyclists in the USA.”

Rob Lawrence, Co-Director of the Rider Alert program in Virginia said, “We are delighted to arrive at this major milestone in the program, and could not think of a better emissary than Governor McDonnell to take that card back to its UK origin as an expression of the cooperation and partnership in what is turning into a global safety program with its roots planted firmly in the UK and Virginia.

Rider Alert sponsor and safety partner Martha Mitchel Meade of the AAA Mid-Atlantic said, ‘‘AAA is honored to be able to be a part of bringing the great work of the UK ambulance Motorcycle Club to the US and especially Virginia. While each physical card only measures 3x2 the size of its impact can be life changing. Reaching 200,000 cards in such a short time is a fantastic accomplishment and AAA looks forward to remaining a safety partner for the next 200,000 and beyond.”

The Rider Alert motorcycle safety program distributes free identification data cards that help first responders to provide rapid and accurate medical assistance to motorcyclists involved in serious accidents. Launched by the Richmond Ambulance Authority, Bon Secours Virginia Health System and Motorcycle Virginia! In April 2011, Rider Alert is the first program of its kind in the United States. The Rider Alert card is placed inside a rider’s helmet and contains vital life-saving information, emergency contacts and important medical history. When first responders arrive on the scene of a motorcycle accident, a sticker on the outside of the helmet will indicate that the biker has a Rider Alert card. The sticker also warns bystanders not to remove the helmet, which could cause further injury.